Mid wastes of Africa a wanderer sped:
He found no pathway; night was now afield.
Through clouds no stealthy glimmer was revealed;
Craving the moon, he made the grass his bed.
The heavens opened, moonbeams then were shed;
He sees where poison-serpents are concealed,
And where their brood of cubs the tigers shield;
He sees the lion upraise his wrathful head.
Thus 'tis the wont of youth perforce to view
What now befalls, so long the veil yet drapes
The future from the road he would pursue.
Clearer has grown the night, and from it gapes
Loathing of life; of pangs and griefs not few,
The deep abyss from which none e'er escapes.